One of the characters that have made their presence felt the most across the MCU is Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury, the mysterious head of SHIELD who always shows up where he needs to be to keep the balance between the US government and the larger world of superheroes and aliens. Now, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier has introduced Julia Louis-Dreyfus in the role of Contessa Valentina Allegra de Fontaine. According to executive producer Nate Moore, Valentina is set to play the same role as Fury in the MCU, but with a darker edge.

"Whenever we talked about Valentina, even in the writer's room, she was sort of a more acerbic, funnier, but darker Nick Fury. Someone who knows her secrets, who's not afraid to operate in the moral gray area, but maybe who isn't as inherently altruistic. Having a character like Valentina in the show, and actually in the MCU, is really interesting because I think she'll be making more waves sooner rather than later."
RELATED: Are the Power Broker and the MCU's Benefactor the Same Person?
Valentina Photo #1

It sounds like Contessa Valentina Allegra de Fontaine is going to be a character similar to Amanda Waller in the DCEU, played by Viola Davis, who is a shadowy government head charged with taking care of the more "unsavory" aspects of dealing with metahumans.

We have already seen some hint of the kind of role Valentina will play in the MCU. In The Falcon and The Winter Soldier, John Walker, the new Captain America, has been stripped of his shield and his status as a soldier, and left a broken man with no direction.

Enter Valentina, who offers Walker a new purpose in life. For fans who follow Marvel Comics, this can only mean one thing, that Walker, who has been portrayed as an anti-hero so far, might now begin down the path to becoming the supervillain US Agent under Valentina's guidance. According to Wyatt Russell, who plays Walker, filming that scene with Julia Louis-Dreyfus felt like becoming a part of the audience.

Valentina Photo #2
"People like her make everybody better around them. What was great was in that moment, I didn't do any talking. I was just watching Julia Louis-Dreyfus act and got to be a sort of passenger. Because you're just letting Julia Louis-Dreyfus just be her. I was like an audience member. [She's] hitting all the beats that she needed to hit and making it totally different than it was on the page, she was great in every possible way."

Valentina was initially set to be introduced in Black Widow, before the movie got pushed back by more than a year. It will be interesting to see how the character impacts the larger MCU moving forward, and how Nick Fury reacts to her presence in what had been his personal domain until now.

Directed by Kari Skogland, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier stars Anthony Mackie, Sebastian Stan, Emily VanCamp, Wyatt Russell, Noah Mills, Carl Lumbly, and Daniel Brühl. A new episode debuts each Friday on Disney+. This news originated at Marvel.com.